If you want to get your political juices flowing early this crucial election year, reading George W. Bush vs. The Superpower of Peace by Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis should do the trick.

  The book’s subtitle, How a failed Texas oilman hijacked American democracy and terrorized the world, effectively summarizes this compilation of Columbus Free Press columns by Wasserman and Fitrakis.

  The paperback begins with a cogent compilation of evidence that Bush would have lost both the popular and electoral vote in the 2000 presidential election if it hadn’t been for the pre- and post-election dirty work done by his brother, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and the conservative U.S. Supreme Court, which stopped the recount of votes in the Sunshine state.

  Wasserman and Fitrakis draw on numerous credible sources to document that Bush wasn’t elected president so much as he was coronated king. The product of a royal family whose roots of power were nurtured by the profits of a banking company that allegedly laundered money for Nazi Germany, Bush quickly changed the nation’s course as if by divine right.

  The tragic terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, gave King George I the opportunity to rule by fiat, and he wasted no time accelerating his effort to limit freedom at home while supposedly spreading it abroad by force.

  Traumatized Americans, in the name of security, for the most part supported King George’s efforts. As Wasserman points out, however, Bush’s tax cuts for the rich may actually left America’s ports, airports and border “less safe than before September 11.” Even worse, the energy expert argues, Bush has done little to prevent terrorists from turning “our 103 nuclear power plants into weapons of apocalyptic destruction.” Wasserman notes that the plants aren’t even needed, so shutting the power-production dinosaurs down could permanently prevent the horrific consequences of an attack on just one of them.

At the same time that Bush has been usurping our freedoms in return for false security at home, Wasserman and Fitrakis detail how he has fanned the flames of terrorism abroad with his invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. The authors show how the preemptive attack on Iraq, in particular, was based on a propaganda campaign worthy of Nazi Germany’s Joseph Goebbels, who developed the theory that if you tell a lie often enough it becomes an accepted truth.

But in what at first seemed to be his greatest victory, King George possibly sowed the seeds of his ultimate defeat. As questions arose about Bush’s increasingly shrill claims, and the conglomerate-controlled mainstream American news media failed to answer them, a rapidly growing number of Americans turned to the Internet, where the foreign press and independent web sites did. King George ordered the invasion before the resulting rise in doubt about his accusations reached the point that it would be political suicide for him to do so.

  Wasserman and Fitrakis argue that he may not be so lucky in the future. “Amidst the agonizing crisis over Iraq, the violent contortions of the world’s only military superpower have given birth to a transcendental force: the global Superpower of Peace,” Wasserman wrote on March 15, 2003. . . . “ ‘Never before in the history of the world has there been a global, viable, open dialogue and conversation about the very legitimacy of war,’ says Robert Muller, a longtime UN guiding light who views this global resistance as virtually miraculous. . . . No matter what ultimately happens in Iraq, the new millennium will be neither American nor Chinese nor European nor military nor corporate nor dictatorial. It belongs to the Superpower of Peace, being born before our electronic eyes.”

Whether or not Wasserman overstated his case may be determined in the political arena in November’s presidential election. If King George allows us to truly have one — and Fitrakis’ reports on how the vote may be even easier for Bush to control in 2004 than it was in 2000 are cause for concern — then it may be up to the Superpower of Peace to turn the tide. Most polls give Bush a strong lead at this point. But the surprising rise of the Internet-driven campaign of Howard Dean suggests that the potential for an electronic revolution is at least a possibility, regardless of who ends up on the ballot along with Bush.

  If this revolution is to occur, though, King George’s opponent(s) will probably have to go beyond the Internet to dethrone him. Fitrakis alludes to this in one of the tamer but perhaps most politically astute commentaries in this book, in which he quotes Chip Berlet, senior analyst at Political Research Associates.

  “While it’s important to criticize and counter the arguments of right-wing leaders, Berlet points out that it’s equally important to listen to the grievances of their followers,” Fitrakis writes. Berlet argues that dismissing conservative populists as “racist, sexist pigs,” only adds salt to wounds that, if healed through dialogue, could help right-wing populists understand that Bush has played on their passions while picking their pockets clean and sending their offspring to die in senseless wars that primarily benefit the rich.

  So George W. Bush vs. The Superpower of Peace doesn’t just get the reader angry about King George’s usurpation of power. It also tells how to dethrone him. That makes this an important book, just as Fitrakis’ acknowledgment of his pet pigs for the inspiration they provided may make it a unique one.

Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis will be holding a book signing for George W. Bush vs. The Superpower of Peace on January 28 at the Main Library downtown, 96 S. Grant Ave., from 7-9pm in the main auditorium. There will be refreshments and a discussion with the authors.

Rotten to the Core 2, Martin D. Yant’s book on the cancer of corruption in Mansfield, Ohio and beyond, was just published. His investigation of a questionable murder conviction in Akron was recently featured on CBS-TV’s 48 Hours and the A&E network’s American Justice.

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